Google just dropped a new developer preview on us, only this time it’s not for phones. Instead, their rebranded wearables platform, Wear OS, is getting updated to Android P.
For now, Google is only making this first Android P Wear OS preview available to the Huawei Watch 2 and Huawei Watch 2 Classic. If you own either and want to give it a spin, you’ll find the files and setup instructions right here.
In this Android P Wear OS preview, the update is supposed to introduce “Android P platform features to wearables.” The list of standout features isn’t jumping at me just yet, but here are a few of the details that Google provided:
- Dark UI system theme: This actually showed up in a recent update, but it becomes the default in Android P. Google hopes this should “improve the glanceability for wear apps.”
- Limited background activity: Apps no longer run in the background unless your watch is on a charger. The only exception is watch faces and complications that are currently selected. Google says that Wear OS is going “further with Android’s app standby feature than some other form factors.” I guess we’ll see how that plays with your app-loaded watches.
- Turning off radios when off body: When you take your watch off, Wear OS will now try to turn off Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular radios to improve power consumption and extend battery life.
- WiFi off when Bluetooth is disconnected: When disconnected from Bluetooth, your watch will no longer automatically switch and connect to WiFi. Like the previous bullet, this is for power consumption improvement.
We’re working on getting this up and running right now, so stay tuned. We will update this should we find more goodies.
Wear OS Preview 1: Release Notes